Fruit & Nut Bars

I have been on this mission if you will to make a good granola bar, something that is chewy, crunchy and tastes good all in one.  My past attempts have been lacking the chew, the flavor has been good but not what I really am looking for. So I came up with these…they aren’t really granola bars (there is no granola in them) they could however be considered, maybe, an energy bar. 

These are so simple and can be adjusted to your liking, you will need a food processor for best consistency.

2 1/2 cups dry roasted, unsalted nuts* (I used a mix of almonds, walnuts and pecans)
1 cup dried dates
1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I used a mix of blueberries, strawberries and cherries)
2/3 cups shredded coconut
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
*You could also add seeds

Soak the dates and about half the dried fruit in hot water for about 5 minutes just to soften them slightly. Add them to the food processor.  Pulse until fine, almost paste like.  Then add about half of the nuts. Pulse with the fruit mix until well combined. Add the remaining fruit, nuts, coconut and syrup, pulse only lightly just to combine (keeping some of the nuts large).  

Line a jelly roll pan with foil (or if you want thicker bars use a baking dish).  Dump the mixture on the pan.  Press the mixture evenly on the pan, wet your hands to make it easier since the mixture is very sticky.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, let cool completely and cut in to bars. Store in a plastic container or wrap individually.

To make these raw. Use raw nuts and prepare as above but keep the coconut out of the mixture. Roll the mixture into bite size balls and then roll in the coconut to make fruit and nut bites.

Love this picture of my helper!  Taking pictures as we make the bars.

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